In a Father’s day meditation last Sunday Evan Kreider reviewed the colourful story of Isaac, his wife Rebekah, and their twin sons, Isaac (the eldest by a few minutes) and Jacob. This family had some dysfunctional characteristics: sibling rivalry, favouritism by each parent of one child, mother- engineered deception, lies, and death threats. There’s an agonizingly pathetic scene when Isaac and Easu realise they’ve been tricked and Esau begs his father to “bless me too”. All of this results in further relationship alienation and Jacob, again with Rebekah’s aid, flees for safety. Evan identified a number of issues from this account:
• do families currently have a history of blessings, if not, are we missing something? Blessing might include parental approval, a sense of ethics passed to children, child rearing skills, parental prayers (“bless those we love”) or trade skills.
• families are full of imperfection; but God can even use jerks.
• some, but not all, fathers are godly but not at all times. If children were at peace with their parents we wouldn’t have such a booming counselling industry.
• if people are thankful for their fathers, we should be grateful, though some have difficulty verbalizing this love.
• in some families life is difficult: being the husband of Rebekah, or having a brother like Esau or Jacob is not easy.
• some feel they’ve never met their fathers expectations (even after the father’s death) or never had the blessing they wanted – remember God is also our father.
It’s rare that all children in a family feel they were treated equally. It’s important to remember that as God’s children we are all loved equally and unconditionally. (HN)